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Happy and healthy

It’s not always possible to completely eradicate stressful situations from our lives, but we can manage them for better mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Read on to hear expert Carlie Barlow’s top tips.

What is stress?

Stress is a feeling of being put under abnormal pressure. Frustrating or uncomfortable situations can change the way we behave and heighten our emotions. Symptoms include low energy, headaches, a rapid heartbeat, insomnia and frequent colds and infections.

The stress hormones

When our bodies misinterpret a frustrating situation as a threat, our hypothalamus sets off an alarm system. These triggered nerve and hormonal signals prompt the adrenal glands to release stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline is a hormone that increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol increases glucose in the bloodstream and enhances the brain’s use of glucose. It can also alter the immune system responses. Both hormones can be exhausting and detrimental to health when a person is regularly feeling stressed.

What can we do to reduce stress?

We need to make the connection between feeling tired or ill and when we are feeling this way. We can look for physical warnings such as a headache or tense muscles and try to connect it with a moment in our day that is causing these symptoms. Then it’s a case of identifying the causes and positively working towards a solution.

Tips for reducing stress:

  • Yoga
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Maintaining a healthy work life balance
  • Taking regular breaks and periods of rest
  • Keeping a tidy home environment
  • Eating healthy, nutritious foods
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Reducing use of toxins
  • Prioritising to-do lists
Let’s not be too hard on ourselves. Having bad days is a universal experience. But so can taking a few moments to appreciate all the wonderful things in our lives. Most important, let’s stay connected with friends and family. Many of us have been apart from loved ones for a long time now. Keeping in regular contact via phone, email, video calls or letters can work wonders for our overall wellbeing.

Wellbeing with Carlie Barlow

January and February 2021 breaks at our country hotels (and some coastal) offer a few days of restorative calm. They include fitness classes and meditation workshops designed by wellbeing expert Carlie Barlow to focus the mind and body, but time too for treats.

Book now